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see you again at 4am eastern. >> hi, i'm lisa fletcher, and you're in "the stream." it's a major buzz kill that impacts us all. why are so many bees dying, and what's being done to help the hives survive. so the next time you're eating, think about this. every third bite of food can be traced back to bees. the typy insects produce more than just honey. bees help to pollinate 98% of flowers and crops. they're an integral part of the ecosystem that some are warning
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is being lost. beekeepers are reporting mass die offs. between 25 and 40% of bees have disappeared because of colony collapse. scientists say that it's habitats, dwindling food supplies, and diseases that target bees. and a potential killer, pesticides. to protect the crops, they're killing bees. and they are starting to carry bee advisories in 2014. but some are demanding more, pointing to the european union's two year ban. in banning pesticides, it makes the situations worse, so how do we figure out what's causing bees to die off and coming up with a solution to save them?
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raj is here, and i got to tell you, it was quite depressing for you and me reading all of the research for this program and millions of bees dying off. >> it was depressing and horrifying. it's like a bad horror movie. and the online community, using the hashtag, he says: >> we're going to address all of that. and larry, the cofounder of eco honeybees. a unique beekeeping business that help people start and paint hives. and jennifer, the senior
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scientist with the defense council and she focuses on chemical policy examinations reg layings, and wally thermon, a professor of economics in the north carolina state university. welcome everyone to "the stream." and jennifer, this is something that you look at day in and day out and you provide testimony and scientific briefs to congress on these issues, and where do things stand for bee populations right now? how bad is it? >> it's very serious. and in fact, we can't overstate how serious it is. i'm getting a lot of feedback, an echo. one-third of the food that we eat comes from bees and requires pollination from bees, and our fruits, like tree fruits, and pumpkins, and blueberries and a lot of nuts, and so literally one in three bites of food is
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relying on pollinators, and already, we don't have enough native bees to pollinate our crops, and now we're seeing a decline in the commercial bees. >> larry, you're involved in much larger issues. what killed the hives, and what do you suspect is taking them out? >> there are numerous reasons why a beehive can go bad, whether it be insecticide, herbicide, pollution, or just because when beekeepers start hives in these areas, they will generally do so from paged bees that are sourced from other parts of the country, and is you're getting bees that are not acclimated to our weather patterns. if you receive a package of bees in south georgia, that queen with 100 generations of being in georgia is not going to be attuned to the fact that we have winter here.
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so she might not impart an air of frugality to the bees that they need to survive for four months because for countless generations before, they have maybe a few weeks of cool weather, and that's it, and they get back to spring. and so there are numerous challenges. >> but from what you've seen on the ground. >> there's definitely a problem. >> is there one thing that beekeepers are pointing to than another? >> generally, they're being affected by the colony collapse disorder. where you come back to your hive one day late in the year and it's empty, or you see damage done to the brood, done to the bees, by mites and other types of parasites, and hive beatles, other things of that nature, and things are going on in the hives and hurting the bees themselves. >> wally, you're an economist.
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and what's your interest? the bees? >> i've been looking at the bees for several years because of the program and i've been fascinated of how beekeepers migrated across the country, and almonds in california, and cranberries in maine, and market coordination. >> we have community coming in here: >> jennifer, back to you, take me through this domino affect,
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and suppose the bees keep dwindling, how will that affect us as human beings? >> so right now, we know we have lost about 40% of our bee colonies over the last ten years. i'm talking commercial bees at this point. and if we continue to lose commercial bees at that rate, we won't be able to pollinate our food in another ten years, and this is very serious. this is a food security issue that i don't think can be overstated. in fact, when i talk to epa scientists working on this issue, they say it's one of the most serious food security issues right now, with the loss of the bees. so it's very very serious. now, we can import commercial bees. and the they have many of the problems and challenges that have been stated. but in addition, we're not really solving the problem that way. it's more than commercial bees. there are more than 400 species of native bees in the country, and native bees are involved in
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pollination and services, and they're part of the essential wave length, and we're losing a lot of those species too, so it's very serious. >> jennifer, explain the pesticides, and what are they and do they kill the bees directly or indirectly? what's going on here. >> they're a class of pesticides that have been around for the last couple of decades. they were originally put on the market to replace pesticides that were very toxic, and organa phosphates, they were in during the war era as chemical warfare agents, and after the war use for them was over, the companies decided to put blow them out onto our crops, and that class of chemicals are associated with bird kills and fish kills, and
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worker poisonings, so people that work the fields. so these were a class of pesticides intended to replace those and they intend to be safer. they actually soak into the plant and that was considered to be a good thing because they're not on the leaf when the workers pick the fruit and touch them. and also with rain, they don't runoff into the straps. that's the idea -- the streams. it's like a medication that you might give the dog or cat and it makes their blood toxic. >> so that seems like it wouldn't hurt the bees. >> the problem, what we know now, getting it into the plant and making it insecticide al, and making it poisonous to insects also poisons bees. especially when we know that the pesticides are getting into the nectar and the pollen, and the bees are taking it back to their colony and the whole colony and
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becoming contaminated. >> our community echoes the sentiment. a lot of criticism about the pesticides: >> just to add quickly that they are mostly made by bayer company. >> good point. first of all, give us your take on these numbers, and i know that you don't necessarily agree with what's out there. >> what i share with jennifer
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certainly and the beekeeping industry, is concern, the beekeepers face real challenges, and the insecticides are part of the challenges, and parasites, and all sorts of things that the beekeepers have to deal with that challenge their sustainability. but important to the perspective, there are more bee colonies in the united states than there were back in 2007, before this colony collapse that marlene refers to hit. now, when you say, as jennifer did, that we have lost 40% of the bee colonies, the intelligent listener and observer will say, we had 100 before, and we have 60 now, since we lost 40%. but what we're saying is that beekeepers normally lose a fraction of their bees each
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winter. the bees only live about six weeks, and the colony persists, and it's a living biological entity, and if a beekeeper puts them out over the winter, he's going to come back and find maybe a 15% loss, or 30% loss. if they have 30%, and they have seven colonies of bees, they can split the remaining healthy hives, and buildup to 100 colonies in a matter of weeks. so the beekeepers are doing this, and that's why we have more bee colonies than we did. it's not saying that everything is rosie in the beekeeping world, but beekeepers are savvy. >> after the break, we're going to face this idea of high-rises
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and condos in urban areas. we want to know if it's all buzz or if it turns what some considers a crisis around. on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life. >> this isn't a new channel, this is a watershed moment in media for america. >> this entire region is utterly devastated. >> people our here are struggling. >> the fire jumped the highway we took earlier. >> your average viewer want's to actually understand how the health care law is going to help them or hurt them. >> they know they can get extremist bickering somewhere else. >> people say that we're revolutionary. our revolution is just going back to doing the best in journalism. >> this is the place to go watch high quality journalism, period.
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determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was actually abusive, because if it doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of those that exist as well.
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>> welcome back, we're talking about the state of local bee populations because they're dying off. and inevitably, people want to do something, and they don't know what to do, and do not know where to start. but not everyone is cut out for beekeeping. jennifer, what are things that people can do around their homes to help. >> well, there are a couple of big important things. some people want to have colonies in their backyard and it's great. and i had a couple of them in my backyard and i loved collecting honey from them. but one thing, when we buy landscape plants, we make sure that we don't use pesticides in our gardens, and when we purchase them, they haven't been pretreated with pesticide. we are finding that many ornamental landscape plants are treated with test sides in the store before people buy them. and they're treated at such high
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levels that they're staying in the plants for years. >> if you go into a big box home, how do you know? >> they're not even labeled, the best thing to do, go to the store and say, i don't want any plants that have been treated with pesticides, so make sure that what you sell me is pesticide free. because they will serve the consumer's interests. >> on facebook: here's a video. >> insecticides are harming these, but we can't look at this issue in isolation. to survive, pollinators need save places to live. in this case of pollinators, that means flowers across all landscapes.
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farms, ranches, parks and in our own gardens, and keeping areas free from insecticides. all of us can take part in pollinator conservation. >> i'm a suburban guy, what can i do? >> everybody can talk about adding flowers, and planting clovers, most people who are homeowners already have the common sense to spray poisons or insecticides in their yards. but we can do all of that. but the fact of the matter is, the current populations of bees in most rural environments is so low, that you can plant whatever you want that there aren't going to be enough bees to take advantage of it. and right now, it's the bees that are needed. and i don't know of any one thing that any homeowner or business owner could do to have an impact on the local environment than adding a hive of bees to the property.
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this will bring the bees back to the area, and this is what so desperately needed. >> we have to pause there, and jennifer, we have 20 seconds left. not everybody agrees on the cause and the consequences, and what's the effect of doing nothing? >> well, we really can't wait on this problem. the bees can't wait. it's a complicated problem, but what we do know, the pesticides are harming the bees, and to ban them in ways that bees are exposed. >> that's all the time we have for the conference, than conver. and thank you all for joining us. until next time, raj and i will see on you line.
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>> >> u.s. vice president arrives in beijing hours after blaming china for increasing tensions in the region. [ ♪ music ] >> hello, welcome to al jazeera, live from our headquarters in doha. also ahead: a temporary truth in thailand as anti-government protesters clean up ahead of the king's birthday. protesters in ukraine refuse to back down as the government says it's business as usual.

The Stream
Al Jazeera America December 4, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EST

News/Business. Wajahat Ali. (2013) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Jennifer 8, Us 3, Hashtag 1, Georgia 1, South Georgia 1, Beijing 1, America 1, North Carolina 1, Wally 1, European Union 1, United States 1, Pesticide 1, California 1, Organa Phosphates 1, Maine 1, Al Jazeera 1, Ukraine 1, Reg Layings 1, Lisa Fletcher 1, Wally Thermon 1
Network Al Jazeera America
Duration 00:31:00
Rating TV-MA
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel v107
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 12/4/2013